What do all of you do during your Christmas party? I hate just having parents come in, eat, adn leave. Any ideas? I have had my kids sing some carols before - just thought maybe someone might have other ideas. Thanks!
In my kindergarten we play a game that is usually some kind of treasure hunt (that everyone will win) and we also have a pinata. The kids always make the pinata using a balloon as a form and it's usually so strong that every child gets to take one whack at it and then I have to actually break it. I have the parents contribute to the contents of the pinata (mostly small toys, pencils, stickers, etc and a little candy) and then I'm very strict about how much stuff each child may collect when it's broken.
Perhaps an easy craft? Or a short Readers' Theatre? (Even something as easy as "T'was the Night Before Christmas"). Or have a holiday-themed word search, math puzzle, crossword puzzle, etc. for the kids and parents to work on together.
We do centers. We do about five centers. I leave it up to my room mom's to decide on the activities at each center, but it is usually two craft centers, a cookie decorating center, a game center (ex.--pin the nose on rudolph, or bingo) and one other center. The parents love this. Some run the centers and others travel with their kids. It cuts down on eating TONS of unhealthy foods and it lasts much longer (about 45 mins or so). I usually start with having a dad read a Christmas story while to other parents set up. We wrap up by opening my gift to them and dancing around to Christmas music. Altogether the party lasts about 1:15.
We don't have holiday parties at my school. Instead, on the day before school gets out or the first day of Winter, I have a snow day. My students and I wear our pajamas. I make a fire out of paper and have the sound of a fire (crackling, etc) playing from my laptop. We read stories by the fire. We also make snowmen, snowflakes, do snow math, etc. I may make cookies to share while we are reading by the fire, but other than that, no treats. Best of all, I don't need any parents to join us!
We usually play some games. We've done pin the nose on Rudolph. A mom drew a big picture of a deer and then made a red nose for the kids to try to put on him. Another fun game is to have the kids put on knit gloves and unwrap hershey kisses. You could see who gets one unwrapped first or who can get the most unwrapped in a certain amount of time.
We also watch an Arthur Christmas video while we eat our snacks.
I teach kindergarten - in a note I explain that volunteers on Christmas Party day are needed to
take down bb and put items in student mailboxes
take down all items made by students
Put items in mailboxes into a plastic sack ready for book bags
pass out the treats with their child while I take the others out for recess. When we return we enjoy our snack while the parents call each student by name to get their mailbox sacks and they help them pack their bags
We have our room gift eschange and then parents take down the tree and lights and pack into a box while kids and I are in front with my gift to them is opened.
Kids put this in their backpacks and dress to go home.
My room is thus ready for break and all their decorations go home with them. I limit it to 4 parents whose children are also the ones responsible for treats.
We play a keychain exchange game - the kids bring in a wrapped novelty keychain which I have seen for $2-4 dollars - we all sit around in a circle and pull numbers. #1 picks theirs but doesn't open it - #2 can take a new one, or take it from #1, etc etc. I limit the number of steals per gift. Then we open together at the end.
We never have time to do anything except eat and do the gift exchange, but I do have a "song" that I keep on-hand in case we have extra time. The kids help create it. It's based on the song "Partridge in a Pear Tree", but the kids change the words. For example:
On the first day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, some homework to read my AR book.
On the 2nd day of Christmas my teacher gave to me.......
A colleague also used to do Pin the nose on Rudolph, if you want to try something like that.